Gigabyte GA-8GPNXP Duo
BIOS: M5 THG (06/25/2004)
The 8GPNXP Duo is based on the 915P chipset, although it supports both DDR2 and DDR1 memory modules - but not at the same time. On the other hand, the board is well equipped: UltraATA/133 RAID additional to the four SATA connections, Firewire 1394a and 1394b, two Gigabit Ethernet chips (one connected via PCI Express), WLAN according to 802.11b/g via a PCIe card, the well-known DualBIOS and an eight-phase voltage regulator, implemented via the new DPS module. This now also shows the CPU load via LEDs. Lastly, there is also CIA2, which facilitates dynamic overclocking.
The range of supplied accessories includes a fan for the Northbridge which customers can use if they want, although it is not essential. Due to the manufacturer's efforts to accommodate as many interesting features as possible, the components are quite crammed in.
Unfortunately, this board cuts out under high loads at just over 60°C on the CPU housing. In addition, the performance was relatively poor with the first BIOS version. With the first update, the performance level was okay, but went down with each renewed benchmark run. A second update solved the performance deficit, but the FSB speed always balanced out at 203.1 MHz. Moreover, each memory module was operated with CL 3 - regardless of which timings were programmed into the EPROM.
The update center, which is installed via the supplied driver CD, automatically obtains all the current drivers from the internet on request and restarts the computer during installation if required. EasyTune 5 is the name of the overclocking and monitoring software from Gigabyte, which can now even switch the Northbridge fan on and off by means of a timer.